Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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TRYST, n., v. Also tryste, trist(e); trisht, trysht; ¶trice (Uls.), ¶thryst (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.). [trəist]

I. n. 1. (1) An agreement, a solemn bargain, a covenant, a mutual pledge. Arch. or liter. Sc. 1871 P. H. Waddell Psalms lxxiv. 20:
Hae min' o' the tryst ye made.
Per. 1894 I. Maclaren Brier Bush 46:
He expecks ye to keep the tryst.
Dmf. 1908 Gsw. Ballad Club III. 177:
It wad be a ferly, atweel if the Lord Should fail in His tryst wi' me.

(2) An appointed meeting, an agreed assignation or rendezvous (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Cai. 1905 E.D.D.; Per., Fif., Lth. 1915–26 Wilson; Rxb. 1942 Zai; Uls. 1953 Traynor). Gen.Sc. The word was borrowed into Eng. in 19th liter. usage. Per. 1714 R. Smith Poems 1:
This made the Lords a Tryst to hold.
Sc. 1750 Scots Mag. (March) 113:
The een's at hand, my tryst here gars me end.
Kcd. 1772 Weekly Mag. (6 Aug.) 191:
He still affirmed that the devil was in the garden, for that he had a tryste with him.
Rnf. 1801 R. Tannahill Poems (1900) 21:
They set their tryst whar neist again tae meet.
Sc. 1803 Broomfield Hill in Child Ballads No. 43.A.i.:
There was a knight and a lady bright, Had a true tryste at the broom.
Gall. 1825 J. Denniston Legends 58:
The wardens hearing o' the out-breaking in the time o' peace, hae summoned a warden tryst.
Edb. 1869 J. Smith Poems 118:
I'm thinkin' on yon last fond tryst.
Lnk. 1881 D. Thomson Musings 31:
The lover's tryste, an' social hour, Rab sang them a'.
Arg. 1898 N. Munro John Splendid xiii.:
A lover's tirravee about a woman who never made tryst with him.
Sc. 1920 A. Gray Songs from Heine 68:
Nor hae I a tryst to meet my dear.
Abd. 1932 D. Campbell Bamboozled 27:
Dis Ian Fraser mak' a gloamin' tryst wi' me in place o' you?

(3) Combs. and phrs.: (i) to bide (one's) tryst, to wait for someone at a pre-arranged meeting-place (Uls. 1953 Traynor); (ii) to brak tryst, to break one's word or engagement, fail in one's promise. Cf. (vii); (iii) to haud tryst, to fulfil one's engagement or assignation, to keep one's word; (iv) to keep tryst, id. (Sc. 1808 Jam.); (v) to make tryst, to make an appointment to meet someone, to arrange an assignation; (vi) to set tryst, id. (Sc. 1808 Jam.); (vii) tryst-breaker, one who breaks an engagement. Cf. (ii); (viii) tryst-nicht, the night of an assignation; (ix) tryst's end, the destination of a journey where one aims to be at a certain time; (x) tryst-stane, freq. in pl.; a stone or stones used as a mark for a rendezvous (see quot. and cf. I. 2. (2), II. 1. (1) Combs.); (xi) tryst-word, a password. (i) Sc. 1818 Scott Rob Roy xxi.:
‘You walk late, sir,' said I. ‘I bide tryste,' was the reply.
Sc. 1893 Stevenson Catriona xii.:
How did you know the hour to bide your tryst?
(ii) Mry. 1969 L. G. Rich White Rose 27:
Fin you an' me broke tryst.
(iii) Dmf. 1874 R. W. Reid Poems 191:
Whaur a bonnie lad and lass Micht haud a tryst fu' weel.
Sc. 1881 W. R. Smith Old Test. in Jewish Church 232:
The place where Jehovah has promised to hold tryst with his people.
Abd. 1890 W. Carnie Waifs 9:
A tryste ye safe may haud and nae gleg body see.
em.Sc. 1913 J. Black Gloamin' Glints 51:
Joe an' Annie held their tryst Within the Sauter's Loan.
Bnff. 1928 Weekly Scotsman (17 Nov.) 10:
Tae haud its tryst wi' Fiddich Aneath the simmer sky.
(iv) Sc. 1725 Ramsay Gentle Shep. iii. iii.:
Keep Triste, and meet me there.
Sc. 1816 Scott Black Dwarf ix.:
Let us gang reasonably to mark and keep our tryst.
Per. 1879 P. R. Drummond Bygone Days 221:
I maun keep my tryst.
Sc. 1935 D. Rorie Lum Hat 48:
She keepit tryst there wi' the man.
(v) Per. a.1879 in P. R. Drummond Bygone Days 422:
There's nane mak's a tryst that he ever can keep.
Dmf. 1894 R. Reid Poems 3:
A true heart there made tryst wi my ain.
(vi) Sc. 1830 Scott Bonny Dundee iv.:
As if half the West had set tryst to be hang'd.
Slk. a.1835 Hogg Tales (1837) II. 312:
I'll send you over for him and then do you set your tryste.
(vii) Gall. 1895 Crockett Moss Hags xiii.:
I cannot fail to go whither I have promised without being mansworn and tryst-breaker.
(viii) Ags. 1892 A. Reid Howetoon 151:
Those ‘tryst-nichts,' when with his betrothed he could exchange confidences.
(ix) Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 75:
Gin we reach na our tryst's end gin night.
Kcd. 1796 J. Burness Thrummy Cap (1887) 8:
Our tryst's end we can ne'er mak out.
(x) Rxb. 1826 J. J. Balfour Border Tour 197:
The remains of encampments, and rows of stones, called tryst-stanes, are still to be found. These stones were probably placed to give warning that some predatory expedition was designed against England, so that the persons who meant to engage in it might rendezvous around them.
(xi) Dmf. 1894 R. Reid Poems 3:
The tryst-word seem'd “Kirkbride.”

2. (1) An appointed meeting-place (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Bnff., Ags., Per. 1973). Sc. 1864 J. C. Shairp Kilmahoe 181:
Loch Winnoch the tryst for the bonspiel to-day.
Sc. 1936 I. Hay Their Name Liveth 9:
The Memorial was intended to be the tryst of the living as well as a monument to the dead.

(2) Any conspicuous object or landmark, natural or artificial, chosen as a rendezvous, e.g. for huntsmen or raiders (see etym. note and I. 1. (3) (x), II. 1. Combs.), notably in Morebattle in Rxb. where some pre-historic hut-circles are so called. m.Lth. 1828 Lockhart Burns v.:
In casual excursions to Penicuik and the Hunter's Tryste.
Rxb. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 III. 152:
Five or six upright stones, forming a circle, were designated “The Tryst.”
Lnk. 1919 G. Rae Clyde and Tweed 78:
In Blackwell Tryst, in the fauld where a love unendin' Broods ower the heron's lair.

3. A market, esp. one for the sale of livestock (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 130, 1808 Jam.), a fair, but in strict terms, differing from a fair in not being established by charter and in having no statutory customs (‡Cai., Bnff., Ags., Per. 1973). The most famous were those at Crieff till c.1750 and at Falkirk till c.1900. Abd. 1747 Monymusk Papers (S.H.S.) 177:
For Markets: get people from Angus & Highlands to meet each other there, as a tryst betwixt two countreys, each bring what they have to sell & may get what they want.
Sc. 1763 Caled. Mercury (31 Aug.) 419:
The whole principal Gentlemen, Drovers, and other Dealers in black cattle, in the West and North Highlands of Scotland, have resolved to hold Two Several Trysts this season, for the sales of their cattle.
Cai. 1784 A. Wight Present State Husbandry IV. 367:
Mr Macbeath has set on foot a tryst this year, on the moor of Dunbeath. The tryst succeeded, as 600 horned cattle were sold.
Fif. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 I. 460:
The trystes at Lochgellie, i.e. fairs or markets where no customs are exacted on the commodities sold.
Ayr. 1795 Burns Last May v.:
But a' the niest week as I fretted wi' care, I gaed to the tryste o' Dalgarnock.
Sc. 1827 Scott Two Drovers ii.:
Ye winna meet with Robin Oig again, either at tryste or fair.
Sc. 1829 Quarterly Jnl. Agric. II. 89:
The greater part of the sales of the sheep and cattle of the Highlands of Scotland takes place at a few principal markets or trysts, such as the Amulree Tryst in May, the Dumbarton Market in June, the Falkirk Trysts in August, September and October, and the Doune Trysts in November.
Slk. 1830 Hogg Tales (1874) 211:
Sae ye say ye haena seen nor heard o' her sin' Lockerbie tryste?
Sc. 1869 J. C. Morton Cycl. Agric. II. 358:
Falkirk Tryst. — First principal market held at Stenhouse Muir, about four miles from Falkirk, September 9th and 10th.
Arg. 1914 N. Munro New Road vi.:
Some of these men there for the Tryst at Crieff will buy it from ye.
Sc. 1952 A. R. B. Haldane Drove Roads 135:
It would seem that as a general, though not invariable rule, ‘tryst' indicated a market established by agreement between buyers and sellers. . . . At least as early as the beginning of the eighteenth century the word ‘tryst' came into fairly general use to describe these meeting-places, and from then on though some continued to be known merely as ‘markets' or ‘fairs' many, and particularly the larger ones, were commonly known as ‘trysts'.
Sc. 1959 Scottish Studies III. 156:
The end of the Falkirk Tryst came in 1901. The tryst ground at Larbert has been turned into a golf-course.
Ags. 1972 Scotsman (16 June) 8:
Tarnty Tryst, Brechin's annual fair.

4. A social meeting with music and dancing convened among neighbours in rural areas, esp. in sw.Sc. Dmf. 1810 R. Cromek Remains xiii., xv.:
They appointed meetings at each other's houses for dancing and singing. . . . To these public dancing trystes the daughters of the chieftains would sometimes go in peasants' disguise.

5. Trouble, bother, difficulty (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1914 Angus Gl., Sh. 1973). Hence trystment, a trial, a source of annoyance or vexation. See II. 3. (3). Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 110:
O! sic a tryst as I hae! Wan heel apo the sleepy heid.
Sh. 1886 J. Burgess Sketches 29:
Da tryst shu's hed ta hadd her oot o' herm's wy.
Sh. 1919 T. Manson Peat Comm. 162:
A boanie tryst shu'll hae amung you.
Abd.27 1949:
He's a sair trystement till her.
Sh. 1952 J. Hunter Taen wi da Trow 166:
Grit is da trysht da pör man haes A beein guid ta keep!

6. A coaxing, cajoling, wheedling. Cf. II. 4. and Treesh, v. Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 200:
They hid an unco trysht wee 'im afore they got 'im to gang wee thim.

II. v. 1. (1) absol. To make an appointment or assignation, to fix a time and place of meeting; to come to a pre-arranged place. Gen. (exc. I.) Sc. Vbl.n. trystin, a rendezvous, assignation. Sc. 1701 Chrons. Atholl and Tullibardine Families I. 484:
They trysted to meet on teusday last at Riemor in the Hill of Tullimet.
Sc. 1704 J. Clark Picture Present Generation 16:
Discoursing and Tristing about Worldly Business on the Day Consecrated for Religious Services.
Sc. a.1737 A. Fergusson Major Fraser's MS. (1889) I. 141:
They trysted and met privately.
Slg. 1801 Edb. Mag. (July) 75:
He had trysted to meet Millar at a house between Falkirk and Linlithgow.
Dmf. 1810 R. Cromek Remains 167:
Till the bluidy duke came trysting hither.
Per. 1895 I. Maclaren Auld Lang Syne 260:
We trysted tae meet aince a week.
Bwk. 1897 R. M. Calder Poems 150:
O' gloamin' hours by hazel bowers, Where wooers held their trystin'.
Sc. 1901 A. Lang Hist. Scot. III. 183:
Trysting at Inveraray, Leslie marched into Kintyre.
Ayr. 1951 Scots Mag. (August) 330:
The farmers who had trysted there every Friday for centuries.
Abd. 1970 Press & Journal (30 March):
Fit aboot baith o' wis trystin' here the morn's morn?

Freq. in combs. with vbl.n. with the specified place or time of assignation, as trysting-green, -hour, -place, -spot, -stone (cf. I. 1. (1) (x), 2. (2)), -tree (also tryster-tree). Ayr. 1793 Burns When Wild War iii.:
I pass'd the mill and trysting thorn Where Nancy aft I courted.
Slk. 1798 R. Douglas Agric. Slk. 375:
An elm, at Friars, between Roxburgh Castle and Kelso, known by the name of the Trysting-tree.
Dmf. 1822 A. Cunningham Sir Marmaduke Maxwell i. iv.:
The tryster tree pass, where the pedlar had got his neck broke, and by the yellow hair was hung among the branches.
Sc. 1825 T. D. Lauder Lochandhu xxviii.:
Conceal yourselves and your horses, among the thickets of the Ord Bain, till the trysting-hour.
m.Sc. 1827 A. Rodger Peter Cornclips 188:
Or have you now forgot the once-dear trysting spot?
Per. a.1837 R. Nicoll Poems (1855) 147:
We sat upo' the trystin' green Beneath his tartan plaidie.
Rxb. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 III. 451:
Some of these circular rows of stone called Trysting stones.
m.Lth. 1882 Mod. Sc. Poets (Edwards) IV. 208:
Come when fond lips are meeting. Just at the trysting time.
Kcb. 1899 Crockett Kit Kennedy xxii.:
He made his way up to the trysting place.
em.Sc. 1913 J. Black Gloamin' Glints 16:
Whaur grew the ancient trystin' tree.

(2) to come to a tryst in sense I. 4. Vbl.n. trystin, agent n. tryster, one who attends social evenings. Also attrib. Dmf. 1810 R. Cromek Remains xxi., 42:
The old cottars (the trysters of other years) . . . Ance on a day in tryster time, Whan in thy ee love blinkit prime.
Gall. 1843 J. Nicholson Tales 296:
A bench stretching along the gabel, which, on trysting nights, was occupied by the children.
Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 436:
Manfu' sports an cantie trysting.

(3) with wi(th): (i) to meet with by pre-arrangement, to rendezvous with (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Bnff., Ags. 1973). Sc. 1743 Earls Crm. (Fraser 1876) II. 296:
The laird of McLeod trysted with the laird of McIntosh and the Lady, and all their cavalcade, here on Wedensday.
wm.Sc. 1820 Songs Cld. (Nimmo) 1882 195:
Now Willock had trystet wi' Jenny.
Mry. 1897 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Slk. 53:
He sent a letter tae Leezbeth an' trystit wi' 'er tae meet 'im in the Den.
ne.Sc. 1950 Scots Mag. (Jan.) 330:
By the slaes doon in the Sha, faur Awm trystin wi a lassie.

(ii) to encounter by chance, to face, be confronted by. Rxb. 1714 J. J. Vernon Par. Hawick (1900) 113:
They nivir trysted with the like emergence before them tabled.

(4) of events: to coincide, to come together or simultaneously. Sc. 1730 T. Boston Memoirs (1852) 36:
Discouragement and the spring season trysting together, there was a notable breach made in my health.

2. tr. (1) with persons: (i) to engage (someone) to be at a certain place at a certain time or to perform some service, etc. (Kcd., Ags., Per., wm., sm.Sc. 1973). Per. 1705 A. Porteous Crieff (1912) 315:
John had trysted four men to lay hands on her.
Sc. 1717 Hist. MSS. Comm. Report III. 384:
Lord Ormiston, who trysted me to the bridge of Cramond.
Edb. 1735 Process Wright v. Din 82:
Mr Din trysted him at Captain Robertson's Shop-Door.
Ayr. 1822 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 253:
She had some distance to walk without any ‘trysted' companion.
Ayr. 1823 Galt R. Gilhaize II. xii.:
I was owre young to be yet trysted for war.
Rxb. 1847 J. Halliday Rustic Bard 284:
Yeddie Kyle o' Hayknowe, wha can han'le the bow, Was trysted to play on the fiddle.
Knr. 1878 J. L. Robertson Poems 77:
Awa' to tryst some gigglin' qwine.
Kcb. 1911 Crockett Rose of the Wilderness xxiv.:
Lang Sandy, from New Galloway, had been trysted to supply music upon the fiddle.
Edb. 1924 Edb. Ev. News (14 Feb.):
We trysted him for seeven o'clock.
Ags. 1945 S. A. Duncan Chronicles Mary Ann 33:
Trystin' fowk an' syne no' turnin' up!
Abd. 1957 People's Jnl. (21 Dec.):
Ah wis trystit wi' a young bit lass tae gang tae the toon on Setterday.

(ii) to betroth, engage to be married (Uls. 1953 Traynor; ‡Abd., m.Sc. 1973). Also fig. Ayr. 1822 Galt Sir A. Wylie xli.:
Miss Julia and Mr. Mordaunt were trysted by their mutual affection.
Dmb. 1844 W. Cross Disruption v.:
I may consider her as gude as trystit.
Per. 1897 C. R. Dunning Folk-Lore 10:
The bride was a lively queen that tuk a scunner at the man her fouk trysted her tae.
Kcb. 1898 Crockett Standard Bearer xix.:
The popular voice considered him altogether trysted, not to any earthly maiden, but solely to the ancient and honourable Kirk of Scotland.

(2) with things: (i) to order (something) in advance, to cause (some thing or service) to be done, to bespeak, to arrange for the making or delivery of (Ags., Per., wm., sm.Sc. 1973). Hence trysted, hired or engaged in advance, made to order as opposed to ready-made (Uls. 1953 Traynor; Dmf. 1973); lang-trysted, long-looked-for, long-appointed. Nonce use. Ayr. 1720 Ayr. Presb. Reg. MS. (21 Dec.) 72:
For a man's service in trysting straw wattles scobs and divotts.
Rnf. 1741 Session Papers, MacDoual v. Aitken (7 Dec.) 16:
Her Cheeses are generally trysted by Greenock People from her.
Ayr. 1821 Galt Legatees vi.:
The coachman that we have hired altogether for ourselves, having been persuaded to trist a new carriage of our own.
Slk. 1827 Hogg Shep. Cal. (1874) vi.:
Half a dozen pairs of trysted shoes.
Edb. 1843 Directory to Gentlemen's Seats 350:
Those who prefer trysting their clothes.
Kcb. 1897 Crockett Lad's Love xxix.:
His shepherd Rab is shirking his trysted labour.
Gsw. 1910 H. Maclaine My Frien' 21:
Are they trysted or ready-made?
Lnk. 1919 G. Rae Clyde and Tweed 13:
Tweed's bonnie water, like the burn that rins Frae oot the throne in oor lang-trysted hame.
Uls. 1924 Northern Whig (7 Jan.):
He triced a pair of boots.
Mry.5 1928:
The cairts is a' trysted for the morn's morning.

¶(ii) to select in advance, to pick in anticipation. Nonce. Sc. 1700 Sir A. Balfour Letters 254:
They go at the Rate of an Ordinary Horse trot, and as they go will trist the stones to step upon.

(3) to fix or arrange (a time or occasion) (Ags. 1972). Ayr. 1793 Burns Mary Morison i.:
It is the wish'd, the trysted hour!
Edb. 1844 J. Ballantine Gaberlunzie vi.:
Ye seldom think o' stirring out o' that howff until after your trysted time.
Edb. 1884 R. F. Hardy J. Halliday x.:
A waddin' at the stair-fit an' a kisten at the stair-heid, baith trysted for the same hour tae!
Abd. 1916 G. Abel Wylins 107:
Ae day he sent a challenge . . . An' he trystit whaur an' when.

3. Of God, fate, etc.: (1) to appoint or ordain (a lot or time for), to arrange (for), in gen.: Sc. 1714 J. Thomson Cloud of Witnesses (1871) 241:
He trysted my lot to be in a nation where He hath set up His pure worship.
Sc. 1716 R. Wodrow Corresp. (1843) II. 120:
Had not God tristed the flight of the rebels just at that time.
Bte. 1726 Session Bk. Rothesay (1931) 395:
Into any congregation where in providence he is trysted.
Rxb. a.1860 J. Younger Autobiog. (1881) 97:
Ye've been differently trystit, my man: ye've fa'en better on yere feet than me.

(2) to affect for one's good or advantage, to bless. Kcd. 1712 C. Wright G. Guthrie (1900) 41:
He was happily trysted with a virtuous discreet wife.
Mry. 1719 W. Cramond Church of Bellie (1896) 31:
After such a remarkable deliverance as a gracious God trysted us with.

(3) to visit with misfortune, to afflict. Vbl.n. trysting, an affliction, trial, ordeal. Pa.p. trysted, afflicted, comb. ill-trysted, ill-done-by, ill-used. Ork. 1701 H. Marwick Merchant Lairds (1936) I. 7:
I houp you will Consider my conditione how I am trysted.
Inv. 1727 Steuart Letter-Bk. (S.H.S.) 272:
In case you are tristed with Conterary winds in your outward passage.
Sc. 1751 R. Shirra Remains (1850) 90:
The trials and troubles thou art trysted with.
Sh. 1791 J. Mill Diary (S.H.S.) 95:
In England and south part of Scotland where they were trysted with excessive rains.
Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality xli.:
Sair she's been trysted wi' misfortunes.
Sc. 1832 J. W. Carlyle New Letters (1903) I. 42:
I was fatigued by the journey home; still more by the trysting that awaited me here.
Lth. 1853 W. Wilson Ailieford I. iii.:
If onybody was ever trysted with their bairns, it's me!
Gsw. 1868 J. Young Poems 33:
Eneuch to say, ill trysted stranger, I live ilk day at heck an' manger.
Ayr. 1892 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 327:
Some gouks wou'd gane gyte, Were they trystit like me.

4. tr. To invite, encourage, entice, lure; also intr. with wi: to make a fuss of, coax, wheedle (n.Sc. 1973). This usage is phs. influenced by tyst, Tice. Sc. 1827 G. R. Kinloch Ballads 157:
Sae cunningly's I trysted her Unto yon shade o' broom.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin vi.:
Never was at a loss for gash to tryste customers to buy his trockerie.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 200:
She tryshts awa wee 'im t' tack a bittie dainner.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xxxvii.:
Trystin' fowk to tak's places to fawvour him.
Mry. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 79:
She trysts in ower the callants.
Abd. 1940 C. Gavin Hostile Shore ii.:
Since Annie trysted her ower this wye again.
Slk. 1964 Southern Reporter (26 March) 9:
The excitement of his (the towndweller's) business in the stone city would tryst him away again.

5. Nonce usages in derivs., prob. due to a misunderstanding of the word: (1) tryster, see quot.; (2) comb. weel-trysted, trusty, much relied on. (1) Sc. 1951 Scots Mag. (Nov.) 113:
But the superb view of the Cheviots remains from the window of the upstairs passage, with harvest moonrise and snow-presaging “trysters,” the hills' grape-coloured bloom in the shimmering noonday heat.
(2) Lnk. 1922 T. S. Cairncross Scot at Hame 34:
The wee bit squeaky fiddle was a gey weel-trysted frien!

[O.Sc. trist, an engagement. assignation, 1349, a market, 1569, tryst, to make an assignation, a.1400, to negotiate with, 1586, to afflict, 1645, to coincide, 1676, Sc. semantic developments from Mid.Eng. trist(r)e, O.Fr. trist(r)e, Late Lat. trist(r)a, c.1150, a spot where hunters lay in wait for their quarry, an ambush, poss. of Scand. orig., O.N. treysta, to make safe, to secure.]

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